Friday, May 31, 2013

Phil's Trail, Bend, Oregon

With Chris and I signing up for a race on the next day, we decided to just take a gentle look-see at the Bend trails. Great weather for a change and nice easy but fun trail system. There are tons of miles on this and nearby systems.
We went to Phil's Trailhead and talked to some folks (of which there were plenty, the most people I've ever seen at a non-race mtn. bike TH) to figure out a route for 60-90 minutes. With the race the next day, we just wanted to get a taste of the trails and a little leg work. We barely scratched the surface.

Following Chris around.

Mt. Jefferson

Mule deer.

Tons of kids out here, they even had their own little pump/xc track area.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Alpine Trail, Oakridge, OR

After my beatdown at Umpqua, I wanted to see what all the talk was about the Alpine Trail out of Oakridge, OR.
It was the one trail I was told I had to do, to some locals, the best trail in Oregon. Further, Oakridge is considered to many in the local know, the best mountain biking town in Oregon.

Alpine starts out as a nice easy gentle pedal in Westfir upstream near the North Fork Middle Fork of the Willamette River for 2 miles through moss covered Douglas Fir, Cedars, Hemlocks and Alders with the bubbling rapids of the North Fork only feet away. A great break-in for my legs after the 10 hrs. ride yesterday.

  Then things things turned a bit ugly and the buff singletrack turned in 9 miles of uphill road miles untill the Jedi trail takes off from it.

I got great info from Richard at Willamette Mountain Mercantile-Oakridge Bike Shop.
He suggested to go past the 1910/1912 intersection to start on Jedi.
Right before the intersection I caught Scott and Allison from Vermont who were out West for work, same as I, and were checking the local scene out.
We had a little discussion weighting the benefits of heading up another mile to get on Jedi (Richard had given them the same advice as me) then after I gave Scott some gentle "old man" teasing, as Scott was about my age, we all three then headed up to Jedi and the rodeo started.

We started out riding through a light rain or a heavy mist as we cruised through a grove of Old Growth Douglas Fir. Like scenes out of The Hobbit.


Your truly posing with 4-500 year old tree.Thanks for snapping it, Scott.

Looking down into Westfir, Oakridge and Middle Fork of the Willamette River. As we increasingly dropped in elevation the weather got better and better.

Results of a burn.

By the time we got down, the sun came out. A beautiful day.

More burn scars.

Scotch broom in full force....but an invasive plant.Very aromatic, as well.

Famous covered bridge at Westfir.

Sure can't argue that it was one of the best trails I've been on....and Allison said it was the best she'd ever been on. In many ways it was so much more than about the bike...or whatever Lance said. Great scenery and very nice singletrack...the uphill was a a bit...ok, very boring, though.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fruita, 2008

Fruita fun!

From the top.....if you ever go there, you'll see where this was shot.

McKenzie River Trail, Oregon

My son Chris drove up from the San Jose area and we rode the 26 miles of the McKenzie River Trail together. I'm not qualified to label any trial as the best in the USA, so I'll have to just agree it's one of the best mtn bike trails I've been on.
The Umpqua River Trail was harder, for sure, and they rate pretty close in scenery to me, but for actual mtn. biking "fun" I'd have to rate the McKenzie over the North Umpqua. How it rates against Alpine at Oakridge is open to debate.
From the Tamolitch Pool (Falls) to the end, the biking was as good as it gets IMO.

Chris at the start.

We took the left (a bit further and more lava to get through)

 2nd drop after Sahalie.

Tamolitch Pool (Falls). Very interesting, it's actually the McKenzie after it resurfaces.

We didn't spot this guy, lifted the pic off a website.